Lewis Hamilton, 34, took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to his Formula 1 hero Niki Lauda, who died aged 70 last week. The British star posted a dedication to the iconic Austrian driver on Instagram in view of his 11.2 million followers after winning the Monaco Grand Prix this afternoon. Lewis shared a triumphant photo of himself celebrating with the caption: “That was for you, Niki. “Your fighting spirit was right there with me every step of the way.
“I know you are looking down and taking your hat off to us. I miss you, we truly miss you and I hope we did you proud today, legend.”
Niki was Lewis’ close friend and played a big part in encouraging him to join the Mercedes team in 2013.
When the champion crossed the finish line victoriously today, he removed his helmet to reveal Niki’s name, which had been printed on the back.
He also managed to escape a late collision with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 21, in the action-packed tournament.
Fans took to the comments section of Lewis’ post to share their thoughts on his emotional win.
One wrote: “It has been amazing!! I can’t explain the feelings you make me feel! I had fun!! Niki, that’s got you.”
Another added: “He would be very proud today.”
A third replied: “Well done! Only Niki keep you safe, well done boy! The 6th almost on the pocket! That car was a rocket.”
A fourth responded: “You made him proud bro!!! That was one tough race.”
A fifth gushed: “Lewis we were cheering for you every lap and our hearts were pounding! You drove incredibly well, we all are so proud of you, you definitely did Niki proud.”
Yesterday, the Mercedes-AMG driver mentioned Niki in another Instagram post after completing a lap ahead of the Grand Prix.
The video showed the front of Lewis’ car, which had been emblazoned with the words: “Niki we miss you.”
He captioned the clip: “Words can’t express that lap. Niki would say ‘give it a*******’ dig it, did it, got it, good.”
Lewis first responded to the three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion’s death after the news broke on Monday by sharing a poignant picture of the pair having a “big hug” after a race on the social media platform.
He wrote: “My buddy, I am struggling to believe you are gone. I will miss our conversations, our laughs, the big hugs after winning races together.
“It’s truly been an honour working alongside you over these past 7 years. I wouldn’t have even been in this team if it wasn’t for you.
“God rest your soul. Thank you for being a bright light in my life. I’ll always be here for your family should they ever need me. Love you man. Your friend always, Lewis.”